Working on your Body: What is Biohacking?
Life is a whole lot easier and more enjoyable when you feel good in your body. Physical wellness gives you more energy, better cognitive abilities, puts you in a better mood, and a whole bunch of other benefits.
What comes to mind when you think of physical wellness? Exercise and physical activity? A balanced diet? A healthy sex life? Well, that’s just the start of it. There are so many other things you can do to not just give your health a boost, but optimize it so that you can be your best you.
If you’re interested in health and wellness, you may have heard the term ćbiohackingć floating around. Bio…what? What is it and how do you get in on it?
For the sake of this conversation, we’re using ćmen and womenć, referring to cis men and women, or people who were born as the gender they identify as. This information still applies to trans and non-binary folks. Gender affirming hormone therapy is also a form of biohacking!
DIY Biology: Biohacking for Women
Let’s break down the term ‘bio-hacking’. Bio means life. Hacking could mean gaining unauthorized entry into a computer or system. When used more casually as slang, it tends to mean figuring out a faster route, or more efficient system than the one that’s in place. What does that have to do with your body? Biohacking is using tools and tricks to optimize your health – and life.
The thing with biohacking is that much of the industry is dominated by cis-men. Much like other areas of health, most of the research done on different biohacking tools has been done on men and doesn’t necessarily apply to women. Think about how much your needs and energy levels change throughout your menstrual cycle, this is just one of the reasons why women need information that is targeted towards them, especially when it comes to their health.
Now that you get the gist of what biohacking is, let’s look at some ways you can incorporate it yourself biology it into your life.
Explore unconventional ideas
Cold therapy, often called cryotherapy, has been used for many years as a tool to treat chronic pain or to help people heal from injuries. What’s the first thing your parents would say to you if you twisted an ankle or hurt yourself as a kid? ‘Put some ice on it!’
Biohackers use cryotherapy as a way of reducing pain and inflammation in the body, but also to help regulate their nervous systems. It’s not just your physical body that cold therapy can help. Cryotherapy is also helpful in managing and treating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Subjecting yourself to cold on a regular basis also helps to build resilience, both mentally and physically. You’ll most likely feel more energized, have more stamina, and are less sensitive to temperature changes from the weather.
How do you practice cold therapy? Some people are getting fancy by getting ice tubs in their backyards or going to cryotherapy clinics. But you don’t have to spend any money to reap the benefits. A cold shower or a dip in a natural body of water is a free way of getting your cold fix. Why not try today? How to start?
Slowly, step by step. First, start with warm showers as usual. After a few minutes lower the temperature and wait until your body adjusts. Continue doing this (lowering temperature) until you switch to cold water. For the first time try to try to hold for a few seconds and gradually increase the ‘cold water? time. After taking a shower let the body dry without a towel. You will soon get used to the cold, and notice an improvement in your body’s immunity. You will also have more energy.
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy, sometimes called light box therapy, uses certain wavelengths of light to protect, restore, and repair tissues in the body. It does this by allowing the body to produce more cellular energy, which allows the body to function more efficiently.
When red light therapy is targeted towards a specific area, it benefits the surrounding blood vessels, nerves, and lymph pathways. How does that help you? By reducing inflammation and pain, and more.
Red light therapy can be especially beneficial for women especially when it comes to reducing menstrual pain and regulating hormones. Some people even advocate the use of red light therapy to treat symptoms of menopause that occur in the vagina. These handy lasers may help with ‘vaginal rejuvenation’, and urinary incontinence.
How do you access red light therapy? Many medical professionals like dermatologists and physical therapists have red light therapy devices in the office, as well as medical spas. There are also plenty of at-home devices on the market that range widely in price.
Well being – Time in Nature
It may seem obvious, but one of the best “bio-hacks” is simply spending time in nature. Many of the things that biohackers do are done to counteract the effects of living in modern society. Sitting all day, staring at screens, eating processed foods, and being inside all take a toll on your health.
People use lots of fancy gadgets in the name of biohacking, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the best tools are not only free but give you an excuse to get outside.
Here are some ways to hack your way to a regulated system using nature:
- Spend time in the sun. It’s not just about vitamin D!
- Watching the sunrise and sunset to balance your circadian rhythm.
- Put your feet on the Earth: If you can, try to put your bare feet on grass, sand, dirt, or whatever else you can get your toes on.
- Walk outside. Fresh air and movement.
There are so many tips and tricks when it comes to biohacking, but there’s no need to get overwhelmed. Keep it simple, try one thing at a time, and slowly but surely figure out what works for you and your body.
Think What You Eat
There are many benefits of balanced nutrition and diet. Maybe you haven’t thought about it till now, but if you add some healthy habits to your everyday life, scientists say that you can feel better, look younger, be healthier, prolong your life.
You can try a lot of diets, but what would be best is – to include a Mediterranean diet on your menu, to try intermittent fasting from time to time, or just an elimination diet for 14 days. Why? Well, why not? We know why “yes” and it is written below.
- you will easier control your body weight and burn fat
- you will reduce your blood sugar and improve your overall health
- you can prevent health problems (especially potential heart disease)
- you can slow down normal aging problems
- after some time you will probably successfully reduce mood swings
How To Start with a Diet?
Baby steps – add more veggies, fruits, and olive oil to your menu. Eliminate some food for 14 days, most people choose dairy and/or sweets. Replace only one meal with smoothies. Try fasting for 12 hours, and if you can you can increase it later. If you only implement these tips, your body will thank you.
Is Biohacking safe?
When it comes to diets and a healthy lifestyle, it is generally safe. Do not try self-experimentation with technics you do not understand or you find on the Internet. The Human body is sensitive, you do not want to harm yourself.
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.